Earlier this week, I was privileged to speak at the United Methodist Women’s meeting in Newtown, PA. A group of 30 women came out to learn about volunteer programs and what they can do to help. On the face of it, this was not a remarkable occasion. However, the Newtown United Methodist Church, like so many churches, synagogues, and other places of worship, is getting back to the work they do best: helping the community.
Judging by the questions both during and after my presentation, I was struck by the heartfelt desire of people to extend a helping hand to those in need. The questions ranged from, “What can we do?” to “How can we do it.” At the end of the meeting, the enthusiasm for restarting programs that had to be closed down during the pandemic to creating new ones was palpable.
It really only takes a small spark to ignite the passions of people to help. And perhaps help in a variety of ways. This month, I will be devoting my blogs to the various groups that collaboratewith people in hospitals and hospice care. I will be sharing ideas of programs that you can either contact to become a part of or inquire about to assist you or a loved one during a serious illness.
The programs range from the joy therapy pets bring to the more serious programs that help ease the process of leaving this world. I will also discuss how multigenerational programs – creating blankets and other useful items—can not only help the intended recipient of these wonderful things but can build bridges between generations and foster an even deeper sense of volunteerism. If you think you don’t have time to volunteer, cutting and tying a fleece blanket just takes an hour or two. And you just might be surprised by the benefits You receive – feelings of fulfillment and purpose, expanding your social interaction, and the glow of knowing you’ve helped a fellow human being.
Watch this space for the next few weeks. My intention is to give you some ideas on how you might be able to incorporate volunteering into your life.